The Wolverine

June-July 2014

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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Page 11 of 157

T he other shoe finally dropped in Michigan basketball's 'who's in, who's out?' sce- nario. That oversized adidas wound up filled with cement for Wolverines watchers suddenly reacquainted with deep NCAA Tourna- ment runs. Most knew Big Ten Player of the Year Nik Stauskas was long gone, long before the captivating Canuck donned his final set of three glasses in a Michigan uniform. He just parlayed his prep YouTube videos into a highly pho- togenic two-year rain of collegiate three-pointers and a no- doubts opportunity at the next level. Classmate Glenn Robinson III received more scrutiny for his up- and-down efforts at times, but the NBA focuses on upside, and Robin- son finished off his Michigan career with his head above the rim. His physical measurables, bloodlines and overall potential gave him more than enough reason to roll the next- level dice. With Mitch McGary, it seemed dif- ferent. Sure, he carries redoubtable NBA potential as well, but really stood out only during a magical six-game surge to the NCAA cham- pionship contest in 2013. He spent the games that counted in 2014 as college basketball's biggest cheer- leader, while healing and rehabili- tating after back surgery. He would return to leave no doubt, teaming with Michigan's strong perimeter combo to leave the Big Ten in its wake. Those dreams went up in a puff of smoke. When the NCAA tested the big man for banned substances at tournament time — even though he wasn't participating — they came up with a posi- tive that spiraled down into a stunning negative for the Wolverines. The penalty for a posi- tive marijuana result — a one-year suspension. McGary will be 22 years old on June 6. He's aging quickly by NBA entry standards, involving not only consideration of first contracts but also second ones, where bigger pay- offs are often secured. The NCAA effectively booted him out of college basketball. It seemed the organization almost immediately recognized the penalty as draconian, reducing it to half a year in the future. But it wasn't making the modification retroactive to give McGary a break, or allow him to lead one for the Wolverines WOLVERINE WATCH   JOHN BORTON Roster Changes Bring Fresh Talent JOHN BEILEIN

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